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United Kingdom Wireless Networking

London Tube Stations Finally Get Wi-Fi 140

Posted by samzenpus
from the expanding-the-net dept.
judgecorp writes "After trials, Wi-Fi in the London Underground has gone live in two stations (Warren Street and King's Cross), with plans to fit 80 stations out before the Olympics, which are now only a few weeks away. From the article: '“Our new Wi-Fi service is a fantastic deal for Londoners, with live travel updates, entertainment and news freely available to everyone while they are on the move across the capital,” said Gareth Powell, London Underground’s director of strategy and service development. “Wi-Fi at Tube stations will help us improve the journeys of the millions of people that use the Underground everyday at no cost to fare or tax payers.”'"
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London Tube Stations Finally Get Wi-Fi

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  • Wait a moment... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by multiben (1916126)
    "Wi-Fi at Tube stations will help us improve the journeys of the millions of people that use the Underground everyday at no cost to fare or tax payers".

    So it was paid for by fairies?
    • by ljw1004 (764174) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:16AM (#40254011)

      Presumably paid for through advertising, i.e. by consumers.

      • A portal that displays entertainment recommendations sounds like advertising. There's an immediate revenue stream.

        The article also points out that later on it will be paid for by users, so this could also be a loss-leader foot-in-the-door move by Virgin. Direct payments by users would prevent it from being a burden on people who just pay a subway fare without using the service.

      • One nice idea would be to allow multiple providers for the networks and allow users to choose which ever service they want. This may lead to less intrusive adverts and better services.
      • by isorox (205688) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:45AM (#40254819) Homepage Journal

        Presumably paid for through advertising, i.e. by consumers.

        Once the olympics are over, you'll be charged. The contract would state Virgin have to wire up the stations, and provide free wifi for the plympics, but then get 5 years of ripping off passengers

        That said, I don't see the market. It's only at the platform, which on the whole is a sub-5 minute wait even at 11pm - at least in the centre where there's no phone signals. By the time you get to the platform, get your phone out, log on to the wifi, type your credit card number in, type in the capcha, accept the terms and condtions, and provide your phone number and email, your train will be there.

        • by trnk (1887028)
          Agree that it's hard to see how this is going to be particularly useful, although presumably this is a first step towards eventually installing it on the trains themselves. I can see that being pretty useful/lucrative in the long-term.
    • Re:Wait a moment... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nova77 (613150) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:33AM (#40254059)

      It is going to be free under the Olympics, but afterward you'll have to be a Virgin customer or pay £££.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sydney already have WiFi in some of its train stations :
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/cityrail-free-wifi-trial-rolls-on/story-e6frgakx-1226074428380

    • by Malc (1751)

      Shanghai has working phone reception and 3G data on trains and stations throughout the underground - who needs WIFI? Time to catch up with China.

      Actually I'm glad there's no voice phone service on the Tube... I really don't want to be jammed in inches from somebody yammering on about their banal life and their dull X Factor hero worshipping.

      • Paris is the same. You can use 2G everywhere, 3G in some (too rare) cases, and keep a phone conversation going all the way.

        Simply put, the UK is not known for its infrastructure. Hell, half the tube stops every week-end for refurbishment and it's still slow and unreliable. But as the French and Germans are slowly taking them over, the Brits finally get a taste of technology ;-)

      • ..3G is much slower than WiFi ...and costs more.... Are you thinking of 4G?

        More than 55% of the London Underground is above ground and gets a good signal, and yes annoying people do yammer on constantly on the phone ...The Tube is more than the central portion of deep lines ...and services more than Central London ...I suspect Wifi will not be rolled out to the outlying stations

        • by Malc (1751)

          No, 3G is good enough most of the time, either to check something online on my phone, or even for me to work tethered (email obviously, not something ore fancy like RDP). Think about the 80 or 90% use-case when you're on the move at a station. 3G doesn't cost anything... included in the monthly data rate. Wifi in this case is going to cost money after the Olympics too...

      • by ommerson (1485487)

        In fairness to London Underground, they have periodically looked at the possibility of providing mobile coverage in stations and trains, but none of the networks were interested in getting involved (and pay for it).

        In the grand scheme of things, LU has more pressing needs for its funds.

    • That's cool!! Maybe you should post a story on that and then you can comment there.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    " It will be free until after the Olympics have concluded, but customers of Virgin Media and other selected networks will continue to get it free afterwards. Others will be able to use the service on a pay-as-you-go basis."

    IOW Just another paid WiFi hotspot, except most ppl will only spend enough time at a tube station to log in and if lucky, maybe load one webpage.

  • ah, the free lunch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by catmistake (814204) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:15AM (#40254005) Journal

    at no cost to fare or tax payers

    How?

    Virgin Media won the contract to supply Wi-Fi to the Underground earlier this year

    How were they paid?

    It will be free until after the Olympics have concluded, but customers of Virgin Media and other selected networks will continue to get it free afterwards. Others will be able to use the service on a pay-as-you-go basis.

    I don't get it. This can't be right. The contract isn't free, Virgin doesn't supply services for free... yet apparently, no one is paying for it except "others" after the Olympics.

    • by reub2000 (705806) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:20AM (#40254021)

      How were they paid?

      I'm guessing they get to plaster their name all of the place. Connect to the network and your browser will be redirected to a page with Virgin's logo, where you have to click a button indicating that you agree to the TOS.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        A station I pass through had free wifi for a few months. Apart from the logo on the click through page, there were ads by the entrance telling you who was paying for it and how to connect, and ads hanging from the AP boxes with the name of the ISP supplying the bandwidth and equipment. Lots of scope for advertising if you have enough eyeballs in the area, and the London Underground probably carries 10 times or more people than my local railway.

        From what I heard, the station staff thought it was good too, pe

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Not to mention that during the Olympics those stations might be really, really packed and people are much less likely to complain about a free service and afterwards you have a really stress-tested network. So great publicity, low risk and giving Londoners a free taste. Sounds like a win all around for Virgin, it's probably a better use of their marketing budget than many other things.

      • by aslanuk (949345)
        From what I remember TFL contacts to advertise are very expensive and limited. There is a reason you don't see any electronic billboards on the underground. This is a way for virgin, and others, to advertise to Londons masses. As the use of smartphones weave their way deeper into our daily lives this will only become more valuable.
    • How were they paid?

      I don't get it. This can't be right. The contract isn't free, Virgin doesn't supply services for free... yet apparently, no one is paying for it except "others" after the Olympics.

      The only "payment" Virgin received was in the form of rights to access tube stations and install their equipment inside.

      Although the service will initially be free of charge, it'll no doubt carry some form of advertising on the login screen. Virgin have stated that it will eventually be charged for like typical WiFi services. Also, it'll be free to existing Virgin Media users, thus making Virgin services more attractive to users and benefitting their business.

    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice&gmail,com> on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:29AM (#40254293)

      It's a loss leader for Virgin to get their kit in there, and then they will run it after the Olympics in the same manner as BT run their existing nationwide OpenZone wifi network - some mobile networks users get access as part of their contracts, everyone else has to pay for access.

      It's not rocket science.

      • It's not rocket science.

        And neither is informative journalism. The glaring point is it's not mentioned in the article.
        I suppose you subscribe to periodicals that give as little information as possible leaving you to puzzle over whether the missing germane information is rocket science or not.

        • From one of the main links in the article:

          However, after this period, Virgin’s broadband and mobile subscribers will be the only ones to get the services for free. People on other networks will have to get online via a pay-as-you-go model.

          A Virgin Media spokesperson told TechWeekEurope that it was looking into other models. These could include providing access in a wholesale manner, charging rivals for offering services over its kit. BT said it had no comment on the deal.

          Trivial to find, if you intend

          • From one of the main links in the article...

            Trivial to find, if you intend to look at all.

            I see, and it's not at all trivial for this information to be actually included in the article and explained further? How difficult is it to see the article itself is shill? Basically it's saying "free free free" and not providing any honest insight into how this is possible. I have the distinct impression the author or publisher is perhaps receiving a little something from Virgin to avoid saying anything about how Virgin might be profiting from this.

            Journalism [wikipedia.org] is the investigation and reporting of event

            • Oh I really really dislike people like you - its not laid out on a nice silver platter, so you bitch about it and think you have a legitimate complaint because you have found the tiniest thread at which to pick and also know how to find something on Wikipedia.

              Im not interested in your drivel.

              • I am so sorry to offend your tremendously delicate sensibilities. The author of the article left out an important and salient detail. I pointed this out and you dismissed my complaint. When I argued civilly that the complaint held merit and backed it up with citations, you then began with your ad hominem insults because your argument was too weak to defend any further. You, my darling, are my favorite kind of adversary.
    • How?

      Harry Potter WiFi antennas. They can magically connect you to just about anything ... except other people.

    • Virgin Media customers will get it free - they are already paying Virgin Media
      Selected others will get it free they are already paying a carrier, who are paying Virgin Media
      Everyone else will have to pay on a Pay As You Go basis ...

      Money rolling in regardless of who uses it , seems like a good money spinner for Virgin to me?

  • Trying to imagine how many people will be trying to share spectrum at a busy station during rush hour and even with multiple access points in each location on all the available channels that don't overlap I'd have to think there won't be enough to go around.

    With regard to "...no cost to fare or tax payers.”' it seems probable that they've put out to bid to WiFi Internet providers to see who gets to sell the service to customers after the Olympics. In all probability London Underground will get a take

  • by JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:38AM (#40254077)

    ...the London Underground, on a per-mile basis, is one of the most expensive transit systems in the world, so to say that the wi-fi is free is totally misleading as the cost is covered within the extortionate ticket prices.

    Just to give people outside the UK some idea, two weeks ago the missus and I went to a concert in London. I drove the car to Hammersmith in West London and parked there, we got on the Underground to travel two stops to Shepherd's Bush, no more than two miles up the road.

    The total cost for 2 return tickets was just under £14 or around $20.

    I think that speaks for itself...

    • by lintux (125434) <<slashdot> <at> <wilmer.gaast.net>> on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:45AM (#40254107) Homepage

      While with an Oyster card it would've been £8 in total. Traveling on the underground with paper tickets seems like a bad idea..

      • by fantomas (94850) on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:05AM (#40254195)

        Trouble with the Oyster card, it's the forcing of costs onto the passenger. Previously, I only had to give London Transport my money when I actually travelled. Until that point, the money was in my pocket, for me to use as I want.

        Now with Oyster cards, I either get charged an extortionate rate for maintaining that privilege (buying higher priced paper tickets), or I have to get credit on my Oyster card that I might not use for a while. My money, given to London Transport, to use as an interest free loan.

        As a non-Londoner, I've got maybe ten pounds on a card that's tied up til next time I visit London. Add up the couple of million people who use the tube regularly and consider each of them has a few pounds spare credit on their Oyster cards and pretty soon you'll see that LondonTransport has done something pretty canny: getting 20 million or more GBP interest free loans from the public... and that's not to count the classic big bank win of another big chunk of money that they've effectively got for free from all those unused and lost Oyster cards owned and never to be used again by occasional users / tourists. How may tourists visit London and leave with a pound or two left on their Oyster card and just write it off?

        Very canny way of getting additional funding in micropayments from millions of people.

        • by wrmrxxx (696969)
          It could be worse - you could be in Melbourne. The new ticket system here (Myki) does this too, but any money you have stored on your card 'expires' if it is not used for six months. To top that off, the card is non-refundable.
        • The interest on your £10 for many years is still going to be less than difference between oyster prices and paper tickets.

          • by Rakshasa-sensei (533725) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:26AM (#40254453) Homepage
            It is funny that the GP seems to think London Transport company is charging higher paper ticket prices to get their hands on his unused Oyster card money, rather than the actual higher cost of handling physical money and paper tickets in non-centralized locations. As the proportion of physical paper tickets falls the unit cost of the service increases.
            • by Aceticon (140883)

              1) They already have at least two persons per tube station entrance, one manning the ticket counter (since they don't have machines that sell Oyster cards, so people have to do it) and one manning the actual gates since there are often people with problems going in or coming out which need to be let through (or sent to the guy in the ticket counter to pay up).

              Thus the fixed costs are already being paid.

              2) Paper tickers are regularly sold through ticket machines in train stations. The cost is miniscule.

              3) Th

              • by master811 (874700)

                Actually there ARE machines that sell Oyster cards so you are very wrong there. They have them at not necessarily all stations (yet), but they are around.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          If you want to apply the same cynicism you can do this for all paper tickets too. Once you buy the ticket, your money is with the ticket issuer even if you don't use it.

          Good news for you: Eventually the system will just take money directly off your credit card. Touch in, touch out as before, but with your VISA. Now you're not spending a penny until you enter the system.

          You don't have to put money onto Oyster and leave it unused. If you really want to put exactly £7.60 onto an Oyster and then make

        • by DJ Rubbie (621940)

          I don't get why Western countries seem to have problems with providing affordable yet ubiquitous electronic currency. Limiting these uses to transit just serve to annoy users. The approach Hong Kong took with the Octopus card should be the example to follow. Not only can they be used for nearly all types of mass transit (except for taxi), they can be used at nearly all fast-food joints (e.g. McDonalds), all major convenient stores (i.e. 7-11, and typically people top up there card over there), even major re

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by homsar (2461440)
          Or you could take the card to a ticket office and exchange it for the remaining credit plus your deposit. I know someone who visits London every couple of months and does this every time.
          • by xaxa (988988)

            Or you could take the card to a ticket office and exchange it for the remaining credit plus your deposit. I know someone who visits London every couple of months and does this every time.

            Why? He'll have to queue up when he wants to travel again, and I doubt he'll miss the £3 before he next goes to London.

            I have smartcards for a few cities. The London system is the only one I've used in Europe where the balance on the card never expires.

            • by homsar (2461440)
              He's a student with a limited income, and claims that he would miss the liquid asset in the interim.
        • I love the Oyster card and I don't live in London. I have one on automatic top up. I basically don't drive in London. I either leave my car on the outskirts or go by train. Oyster card allows me to travel around to my hearts content. There's a maximum daily cost too!

      • Even less, it's zone 2. £5.60 off-peak, £6 peak.

        • by lintux (125434)

          Heh, you win. I'm only here since 1.5 months ago, hope that's a valid excuse. :>

    • by iserlohn (49556) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:47AM (#40254121) Homepage

      That's because you bought paper tickets which are priced artificially high at £4.30 each way to encourage people to use the oyster card. If you used the oyster (contactless payment) card instead it would have costed £1.50 (peak) or £1.40 (off-peak) for zone 3 only travel. TFL (Transport for London) may be expensive, but it isn't that expensive.

      • However, there is a £5 (refundable) deposit for a PAYG oyster card.

        For a very occasional visitor to London making a one off journey this can mean that PAYG oyster doesn't really make sense unless you've got the time to faf around getting a refund.

        Refunds can also be problematic. AIUI, if you've used more than one way to top up the card - e.g. credit card plus cash - then the only way to get the deposit refunded is by cheque posted to your home address - which for non British london visitors will

        • by iserlohn (49556)

          I live in the South, and even tough I don't live in London, I keep an Oyster card on me just in case I need to travel in for work or to meet up with people. Think of it this way - for the OP, he would have paid less per traveler using the Oyster card (£5+£1.50+£1.50=£8) than paper tickets (£4.30+£4.30=£8.60), so there is really no reason to go with paper tickets. Just keep the card in your wallet for next time.

          If you do get caught charged the maximum fare (it's quit

        • by jrumney (197329)

          Finally, while oyster works very well for people who use it regularly, it's surprisingly easy to get caught out and charged a "maximum fare" - one example where you have to be careful - I entered the central line the night before last and just as I entered there was warnings of flooding and major delays and "you are advised to take a bus". Had I turned around and walked straight back out again I would have been charged a £7 maximum fare. Armed with this knowledge I ignored the advice being given and f

          • Automatic if you know about it and use the same station within two weeks to collect the refund.

            Doesn't work well for the people who are making one off journeys - they discover six months or more later that their PAYG card is showing a negative balance by which time there's nothing that can be done to remedy the situation.

            Tim.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        £1.50 (peak) or £1.40 (off-peak) for zone 3 only travel.

        Aren't both Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush in zone 2?

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by TomNext70 (932138)
      I suggest you use an Oyster Card next time. The cash fare for a single ticket on the underground between Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush is £4.30. Using a pay-as-you go Oyster Card is £1.50 (peak) or £1.40 (off peak).
      • Thanks (to all the replies) for the advice.

        Being a "carrot chomper in the Shires" I rarely go up to the "Big Smoke" so use the Underground rarely - but will remember it for the future.

        Fortunately most of the bands I like usually tour across the country and whilst Southampton is equal distance from me as London is, I tend to try to go there for gigs first - lower (if not free) parking, much easier to get in and out of, and at least two of the venues there serve good British ale at pub prices! :-)

    • by symes (835608)

      we got on the Underground to travel two stops to Shepherd's Bush, no more than two miles up the road

      Walking is free, even in London

      • Thank you for the health tips.

        Neither of us have any problem with walking 2 miles unless traffic getting into London has delayed us to the point where you have 15 minutes to get to the venue before the band comes on.

        So don't be a smart-ass!

        • by gsslay (807818)

          So don't be a smart-ass!

          Welcome to slashdot, you must be new here.

        • by jrumney (197329)
          It's 0.8 miles to the Shepherds Bush Empire from Hammersmith Broadway. Easily walkable in 15 minutes.
    • by isorox (205688) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:40AM (#40254787) Homepage Journal

      ...the London Underground, on a per-mile basis, is one of the most expensive transit systems in the world, so to say that the wi-fi is free is totally misleading as the cost is covered within the extortionate ticket prices.

      Just to give people outside the UK some idea, two weeks ago the missus and I went to a concert in London. I drove the car to Hammersmith in West London and parked there, we got on the Underground to travel two stops to Shepherd's Bush, no more than two miles up the road.

      The total cost for 2 return tickets was just under £14 or around $20.

      I think that speaks for itself...

      Yes, it says you haven't got a clue how to travel in London.
      * Firstly, why not park at Westfield?
      * Secondly, why not take a taxi? That would be about the same price that you paid
      * Oyster would be £6 return for the two of you, even if you bought 2 new oyster cards in Hammersmith, and loaded each with £3, that would only be £12, and you can always return the cards later

      Single cash fares are deliberately expensive because it costs a lot to maintain the infrastructure that less than 1% of journeys are made with.

      • OP : the London Underground, on a per-mile basis, is one of the most expensive transit systems in the world ... I think that speaks for itself...

        CP : Yes, it says you haven't got a clue how to travel in London.
        * Firstly, why not park at Westfield?
        * Secondly, why not take a taxi? That would be about the same price that you paid

        Er, that was the original poster's point!

        • Because he only travelled 2 miles a Taxi would be cheaper ...

          This looks to be a deliberate worst case scenario ... drive most of the journey, only use the tube for a very short part, use the most expensive form of payment

          Now try Watford (one side of London) to Heathrow (other side of London) cost : £3.70 - £6.40 - depending on payment method and time of travel - try beating that?

          • by isorox (205688)

            Because he only travelled 2 miles a Taxi would be cheaper ...

            This looks to be a deliberate worst case scenario ... drive most of the journey, only use the tube for a very short part, use the most expensive form of payment

            Now try Watford (one side of London) to Heathrow (other side of London) cost : £3.70 - £6.40 - depending on payment method and time of travel - try beating that?

            Indeed, I used to commute from Epping to Shepherds Bush. 1 hour on the tube, about 10p/mile.

            On the other hand, the 200 yards Covent-Garden to Leicester Square cash fare of £4.30 works out 350 times more expensive (about £35/mile -- 20 times more than a flexible first class TATL flight).

            The average person that doesn't know how to survive in London will simply buy an offpeak travelcard, £7-£8.50 for unlimited travel on tube, train and bus -- including the tube from Heathrow.

            New York ha

      • Yes, it says you haven't got a clue how to travel in London.

        Why would he, if he doesn't live there?

        London is a hellishly complicated place, and how many people who don't live there have bus/taxi/tube/walking routes memorised?

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Don't forget the London Congestion charge, ensuring that people use the overpriced underground instead of their cars.

    • by Malc (1751)

      Oh please, talk about a disingenuous argument. Nobody in their right mind buys paper tickets. Especially as they're priced high to discourage you. That was your choice.

      I live in Hammersmith (at the Chiskwick end)... I mostly walk, or sometimes take the bus. Going from Hammersmith Broadway as you were to Shebu is an even shorter walk - probably 10-15 minutes (or the time it took you to buy your tickets, wait for the next train, travel there, and then walk from Goldhawk Rd or Shepherd's Bush Market. If y

    • by Nehmo (757404)

      ...the London Underground,...

      The total cost for 2 return tickets was just under £14 or around $20.

      ...

      What good would "return tickets" be if you didn't also buy the forward tickets to get to the place you would return from?

    • by Nehmo (757404)
      [And I must also make a serious reply.] I looked up the fares. I'm in Kansas City, Kansas, USA, and I'm envious of you for feeling your public transit system merits a complaint. Yes, it's cheaper here ($1.50 USD for a 2 hour pass), but we have no train whatsoever and only once-per-hour (if that frequent) buses. Plus, the drivers treat the riders like prisoners - not customers. Plus, I could go on, but nobody's interested. Anyway, there are millions of US riders who would be happy to trade seats with you.
      I
  • Limited usefulness? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mdsharpe (1051460) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:46AM (#40254111)
    Just at the stations and not on the trains? That's cool to a certain extent but how long does the average traveller spend standing around on the platform? I'd have thought that by the time you've got through any registration faff / entering your e-mail address it's time to get on the train.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I agree. I use the tube every day and i'm rarely on the platform for more than 1 minute. I don't know what the target audience is. Tourists here for the olympcs are going to be able to get all of their travel information off the posters on the walls or the live update screens.

      I'm not sure what use they'd get out of the wifi either.

      • I dunno if they will have done something special for the olympics but my experiance is that london underground's live update screens are shit because they don't localise the information to the station they are displaying it at.

        For example we were travelling from stockport to eastbourne for a holiday. We arrived at euston and headed to the underground to travel to victoria and started progressing towards the ticket gates where an automated screen told us that the victoria line was closed and that replacement

    • Good point. It makes me think that this will make congestion at the stations a lot worse with people staying on platforms longer to browse and upload photos etc.
  • by MacTO (1161105) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:47AM (#40254119)

    The article makes it sound that they are offering free access to a limited range of online services. It is only the "Internet" in the sense that these services are delivered over the Internet, but it is not the Internet in the sense that it only provides access to services approved by the service provider. Those services are in all likelihood revenue generating subsidiaries of Virgin, services paying Virgin for the privilege of being accessible on the subway platforms, or contractual obligations between Virgin and and the transit authority. In otherwords, it's utility as anything other than a propaganda machine is limited.

    On top of that, they are only offering platform service. Now I don't know about London's tubes, but every heavy and light rail public transit system that I've seen runs trains at 2 minute intervals (peak hours) to 15 minute intervals (at an hour that you wouldn't want to pull out a gadget). You may be able to pull down a transit schedule and maybe a couple of articles to read on the train, but not much else. Train arrival times will probably be posted on the platform anyhow and the only devices usable on platforms are cell phones and tablets. The former is a terrible reading device for anything more than plain text, the latter is an okay reading device but awkward to handle on a busy platform. People who want that type of service would be better served by their cell phone's data plan anyhow since chances are that it's unfiltered and may work on the platforms anyhow. (I can't speak for London's system, but Toronto and Vancouver have decent cell reception on the platforms).

    In other words, big freaking deal. Let me know when they offer real internet service and service that can be access in the place where you're spending most of your time: on the train.

    • It is virtually useless, the most travelled stations are in central London and have a frequent service, when the service is running as it should which is 95%+ of the time. However these stations are normally sub surface or deep lines and have no mobile phone coverage at all on platforms. I used Warren St station today (I work accross the road from it) and I only know about this service through Slashdot! I spend less than 2 minutes normally on the platforms and less than 5 minutes in the station, most of
      • by locofungus (179280) on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:53AM (#40254359)

        I think it's to try and stop too many riots during the Olympics.

        Some stations are expected to have waits of 30 minutes plus to get onto a train due to the sheer number of people trying to use the station.

        Warren Street is probably at risk from people thinking "ah ha - I'll avoid Euston underground" but then being unable to get onto trains due to them being already packed.

        I'm an avid BBC proms goer and season ticket holder but I'm somewhat resigned to the fact that I might not actually go to very many concerts this year as getting to the Albert Hall from work could be interesting and getting from the Albert Hall to Euston could be almost impossible as I'm not sure it's even going to be possible to walk through hyde park along West Carriage Drive, let alone cycle, and the "zil" lanes on the other roads around that area are going to make the area all but impassable.

        While there are lots of exhortations to cycle during the olympics, I'm not sure that the inevitable frustrations and raised tempers of the motorists are going to make cycling either fun or safe. I hope I'm wrong but I'm not looking forward to this summer.

        Tim.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Every day the London Underground carries ~3 million people, most of them at peak hours. Then you've got bus and train users as well.

          I just cannot see how the Olympics (200,000 people going to the park each day) is actually going to be a problem, given the multitudes of different ways to get to the Olympic Park - Central Line, Overground, a couple of DLR lines, bus, train (including fast trains direct from St Pancras), and it's not that far from the District line either.

          Bob Crow (public transport union cunt)

          • by jonbryce (703250)

            And all the indications are that tourist visits to London will actually be quite a bit lower than usual during the Olympics. Hotel bookings are down by a third because all the people who usually go to London to see Big Ben and shop at Harrods are going to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and shop on the Champs Elyses instead.

            90,000 people went to see the Champion's League final at Wembley last year, and a similar number go to see the cup finals. 80,000 people go to see each of the 2 or 3 Six Nations matches

    • Still, all the hardware is now in place. Software can be changed, and the system can be opened up to become real internet.

      And some travel information might actually be useful, even if you cannot get to your facebook.

    • by Gib7 (2445652)

      Earls court station sucks, and you wait forever for a district line train going towards wimbledon. The only type of departure board is a printed list of destinations, with an arrow back-lit by a globe when your train is next. It has you switching platforms willy-nilly, and gives no indication of how long a train will be. If wifi could give extra information, fantastic.

      The wifi probably won't get much out to the outer portions of the underground network, but I know the western picadilly line has non-functi

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        You can see the sky from the District Line platforms at Earls Court, so cell access should be available.

  • by klaasb (523629)

    In the subway of Seoul wifi has been available to passengers for years. Three public companies (olleh, offer wifi in the subway and many other public places for a price as low as 8000 krw (about 8 USD) per month.

    • Really? I wonder why they'd bother. I had an unlimited data plan on my smartphone, and as far as I know, pretty much everyone else did too, and at least with KTF, I had tethering.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, yes, it's not horribly impressive, by any other country's standards, however please consider the fact that it wasn't done because of political and commercial questions. It's politics, not a lack of skills. I am not particularly impressed by Seoul or London's ability to install public Wifi.

    • by Njovich (553857)

      Oh that's really great, if you are korean, or foreigner with an alien registration card and full knowledge of korean.

      Have they made it easier to access for others yet? When I tried it 6 months ago I couldn't get it to work as a foreigner.

      This London system will also work for non-UK-people. Amazing technology.

      (don't get me wrong, I love korea and visited many times, but I wouldn't take their WIFI networks as the shining example of how to do it.)

      • by jrumney (197329)
        It sounds like Korea has taken the same route as Japan. NTT and Softbank Wifi networks everywhere, but you have to be a subscriber to connect. Absolutely useless for visitors, who are more in need of public WiFi due to the extortionate rates phone companies charge for data roaming outside the EU.
  • Here in Montreal, we don't even have cell phone signal in the vast majority of the subway network. Hell, I'm still waiting for bathrooms and disabled access, let alone such 'luxuries' as wifi.

    • Re:Wi-Fi? Luxury! (Score:4, Informative)

      by nyctopterus (717502) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:13AM (#40254419) Homepage

      Err, you don't get mobile phone reception in the London Underground either (well, you do in the overground parts, obviously).

      • by uweg (638726)
        Incredible. AFAIR, Berlin underground has this since 1995 - and not only in stations but throughout the whole network.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          There's no signal on the London Underground in order to stop commuters murdering each other once their patience has been used up listening to the inane drivel, or loud self-important bullshit, that other commuters would be saying on their mobile phones should a signal be present.

          Seriously.

  • With eyes blurry from insomnia the title appeared to be "London Tube Steaks Finally Get Wi-Fi". That woke me up.

  • Go to your public transit commissioner, ask them to make sure that Wi-Fi is available on subways/metros... if that fails make sure that Gig-E is run next to any cabling done by phone companies (it's expensive to run cables, running 3 instead of two [GPRS, CDMA, etc] is cheap).

    Getting public wi-fi on transit systems is an important milestone in admitting that communications infrastructure should be anonymous.

    It's not enough that a person and their husband/wife can speak in private, it's not enough that l
  • Isn't providing wireless internet in the tube stations providing a really useful tool for terrorists?

    internet triggered explosives anyone?

  • They're connecting a series of tubes to another series of tubes! This moment will go down in history as one of mankind's greatest achievements.

  • No doubt they'll pull a Bart and disconnect the wifi service at the first sign of trouble.

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